Finding the best 26 LCD TV can be a challenge. There are a lot on the market from the major electronics manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, and Toshiba. They still don't have all of the features that the 40-inch models have, but they are good enough to be the primary television set in a home. They are big enough to go into the living room or den but still small enough to fit comfortably in a bedroom. When watching a television of this size, you should sit between four to six feet away.
Samsung LN26C450 26-Inch LCD HDTV
Since it is a top-seller, many people think that the Samsung LN26C450 is the best 26 LCD TV on the market. It currently has an average customer rating of four and a half stars out of five, so most people who buy it are happy with their purchase. It lists at $480, but it isn't hard to find it for cheaper than that. Its product dimensions in inches are 18.8 x 25.5 x 8.7 and it weighs 15 pounds.
The picture is pretty good and is in high definition. This is 720p and not full 1080p. Most models of this size will go with 720p over 1080p, so if you want the best picture quality you will need to upgrade to a larger size and be prepared to spend a lot more money. At this size the quality difference between 720p and 1080p is negligible.
The sound on this set is OK if you go in and adjust the settings. With enough time, you'll probably find a setting that gives you clear audio. If you want good audio, however, you should hook it up to an external speaker system. This isn't a flaw of the Samsung LN26C450 but of all television sets.
This is an easy TV to set up and you won't have problems even if you aren't technically savvy. You can set it on a stand or mount it the wall.
Some people don't like the gaming mode and feel that this is the Samsung's weakness. Some people feel that it works well for gaming, so it might have to do with what kinds of games you play, what gaming system you own, and what settings you have it on. If you are just an occasional gamer, this will probably suit your needs. If you play more video games than watch TV, you might want to get a different model.
LG 26LD350 26 LCD TV
Another good pick for a 26 inch HDTV is the LG 26LD350. It has an average rating of four stars out of five. The suggested list price of this model is $430, but of course it can be found for cheaper. Its dimensions are 3.1 by 26.1 by 16.7 inches and it weighs just under 14 pounds.
It has good picture quality and is high definition with a resolution of 720p. In sets this size 720p is almost as good as full HD 1080p and most people wouldn't be able to tell a difference between the two. The contrast ratio is 50,000:1 so the blacks are deep and the colors are rich.
The picture wizard is supposed to make adjusting the settings easy and intuitive, but not everyone cares for this feature. Fortunately you can still start with a standard preset and tweak the settings to fit your room conditions and your preferences.
The sound is actually surprisingly good, especially since TV sets are notorious for poor audio quality. Of course the settings will still need adjusting. The Clear Voice II feature is good for keeping the dialog audible. If you are wanting great sound you should buy external speakers for the system.
This offers good value for the money that you spent and most people will be quite happy with it. If you are hoping to find more features, you are better off saving your money until you can afford a 32 inch or greater set.
Toshiba 26C100U 26" LCD TV
Finally, the Toshiba 26C100U is another model to consider when you are looking for the best 26 LCD TV. Like the LG, it has an average customer rating of four stars. Its list price is $399, which makes it a bit cheaper than the other models. It is currently selling for about $350. In inches its dimensions are 7.9 by 26.3 by 19.8 and it weighs 15.6 pounds.
Like the other models of this size, this also has a 720p resolution, or 1366 x 768 pixels. The screen refresh rate is 60Hz which helps with smooth viewing. The picture is good and comparable to the other models listed, so price, features, and brand preferences will be what determines which HDTV is right for you.
It has a decent number of connections. Its USB connection is on the side. It also has 2 HDMI inputs, a composite A/V connection, a component connection, RF input for an antenna, digital audio output, analog audio input, and a PC input.
The sound is decent,but not as good as the LG model. Unfortunately it doesn't have analog audio outputs, so it is harder to find speakers to hook up to it to improve the sound quality. It's not impossible, however. You can still hook up a receiver through the Toslink digital audio out and process the sound signal that way.
This model isn't as popular as the Samsung or the LG. It is, however, fairly inexpensive and is good for anyone who is looking for a bargain. This may not be satisfying as the primary TV but works well as the second set.
The best 26 LCD TV is the one that best fits your needs and budget, and any of these three could fill that spot. Other sizes to consider are the 27 inch LCD TV, the 22 inch LCD TV, and even the 15 inch LCD TV if you are looking for something more portable.
You can buy any of the models listed on this page at major electronics retailers and some discount retailers. The prices at these places do tend to be more expensive than the price you can get online. If you are shopping online, go with a retailer that you trust. Pay attention to shipping costs as this can affect the price you are paying. Some places, like Amazon, offer free shipping on their TVs.